Europe close: France and Germany agree on 500bn euro reconstruction fund, cyclicals lead
Stocks rallied at the start of the week as Germany and France moved to organise a Europe-wide response to the pandemic and after the head of the US Central bank sounded a warily confident note on the outlook.
Late in the afternoon, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French President, Emanuel Macron, unveiled plans for a €500bn economic reconstruction fund for the single currency bloc.
Reports also indicated that a plan to reopen intra-European travel was afoot, with Spanish transport minister, Jose Luis Abalos, reportedly saying he expected tourism to be able to restart at the end of June.
And overnight, Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, told broadcaster CBS: "If we are thoughtful and careful about how we reopen the economy so that people take these social distancing measures forward and try to do what we can not to have another outbreak...then the recovery can begin fairly soon."
By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was ahead by 5.16% at 341.59, alongside a jump of 5.67% to 11,058.87 for the German Dax while France's Cac-40 was up by 5.16% to 4,498.34.
In parallel, front-dated Brent was 7.5% higher at $34.92 a barrel on the ICE and euro/dollar was up 0.79% to 1.0906.
Basic Resources companies' shares paced gains, with the Stoxx 600 sector gauge adding 80.3%, alongside gains of 7.96% for the Autos&Parts sector index and a 6.95% jump for Travel&Leisure names.
Lenders' shares were also strong, adding 5.79% as a group while Oil&Gas put on 6.45%.
Japanese tech investor Softbank will sell a big part of its stake in T-Mobile to Deutsche Telekom in a bid to raise cash, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In its monthly economic bulletin, the German central bank, Bundesbank, described the economic landscape in the euro areas largest economy as bleak, saying that some containment measures were likely to remain in place for a while and warning that households would likely remain cautious.
Spain's central bank Governor, Pablo Hernandez Cos, chided the country's Congress, calling for a multi-party pact to enact structural reforms across various governments.
He reportedly said politicians needed to show that they were up to the task, act like statesmen and to stop using the crisis for political advantage.